Listen: It’s possible to live stress-free with a “high-stress” job. 

That line is a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s true only because I learned how to take a high-pressure job that did cause me a lot of stress and learn to manage it to a level where I could almost say, I’m stress-free and in some ways, the job has only increased in stakes, magnitude, and responsibilities. 

A wise yogi from India (Sadhguru) when he first came to the USA was confused why people would always ask him about stress management. He soon realized that in the western world, everyone lived under the premise that stress was inevitable and thus required management. 

The truth is that stress is optional. 

How? Let’s talk about that. But first, you must consider this as a truth. The belief that stress is inevitable and that you can be stress-free cannot exist simultaneously. These are opposite beliefs. So what is it? As with all beliefs, your mind will never reject what you tell it to be true. Your mind accepts anything you tell it and especially if you reinforce it. In fact, the universe will always reinforce back to you what you say to be true. 

What is stress anyway? 

Stress is a practiced mental, emotional and physical response to events. The practice makes it an auto-pilot reaction which makes it feel inevitable. 

But as with all of our inner programs, we can mold them, change them, replace them, and rewire them in our mind and body. 

I made a list of things that are true that you can begin to contemplate and wire into your mind to begin to replace this old program. 

Repetition and familiarity are really good, but practice is even better. With practice you will associate emotion and memories and that will really allow you to adopt new tools to find peace, joy, or whatever you want in your life and work. 

Read each line carefully and really contemplate it. Sit with an idea that speaks to you for a few days. Not literally sit for days, but just think about it as you live your life, interact with others, and especially as your mind replays stressful conversations and events (which I don’t encourage, but recognize that this is something the mind will do on autopilot if not managed). 

Read the following statements with contemplation: 

  1. My emotions can be a reaction or a response to conditions 
  2. My emotions are directly tied to my thoughts 
  3. Although I can’t choose how I feel about something, I can choose my next thought 
  4. How someone else feels or reacts has nothing to do with how I need to feel or react 
  5. My emotions are independent of others 
  6. No one else can choose my thoughts for me 
  7. Awareness is noticing my thoughts and emotions as if I was a third-party 
  8. Intention is knowing how I want to feel and who I want to be 
  9. Feeling good is moving towards my intention 
  10. Feeling bad is moving away from my intention 

These statements are simple, but they’re true. Masters truly understand this, live this and practice this. It’s not something that we can fully live without some serious contemplation, self-awareness, soul digging, clarity, insight, and guidance from the higher consciousness (future self if that’s more tangible for you). 

Let’s dig into the themes: 

Emotions can be a reaction or a response

For most of us, emotions are a reaction, and a knee-jerk reaction at that. We have no control over how we feel when situations arise, comments are made, requests are sent, pressure is put. As a hypnotherapist, I like to explain this as our default programming. Although sub-consciously we might not know it’s there, we can clearly see it play out (not very “sub”). Think about your stress triggers. It’s really a trigger-reaction on autopilot.

Now, the response is being deliberate about how you want to feel when life happens. It’s best to work with exact mini situations at a time. This is where intention kicks in. 

Ask yourself, “Who do I want to be and how do I want to feel when… [insert mini stress situation]”

Do it now. Think of a recurring situation that always puts you in a bad mood. Who would you love to be instead? 

If you’ve really hard wired some specific negative reactions like impatience, annoyed, fearful, this exercise could be really difficult. In those cases, I love to ask “opposite questions” which always give me quick clarity. For example:

  • Do I want to be a lover or a hater? 
  • Do I want to be powerful or powerless?
  • Do I want to be kind or hurtful? 
  • Do I want to be confused or clear? 
  • Do I want to be solution oriented or problem oriented? 

Opposite questions force you to focus and choose because you can’t be both in one moment. You are either one or the other. If you’re having trouble, think of what you typically feel and what is the opposite emotion. 

The connection between thoughts and emotions 

My favorite teacher, Abraham Hicks, taught me the meaning and purpose of emotions. They are our guidance system (learn more here). 

First, you need to admit and know that you want to feel good. You do! That’s what we all want and that’s a good thing. 

From there, you must not require yourself to always feel good as much as you would never require your gas gauge to always read full. Meaning, you want to know that having gas is a good thing for the movement and health of your car, but you also want to know when you need to fill up without condemning the gas gauge. It’s a very useful indicator. Likewise, your emotions guide you giving you valuable information about the direction of your thoughts. 

Your emotions tell you whether in this moment, you are in alignment with your highest intention or not. When you feel good, you are and when you don’t, you are not. 

(There’s also a momentum factor that allows you to feel even better or even worse, but that’s another topic.)

When you’re not in alignment, listen to the guidance. Bless the guidance for letting you know. It’s here to bring you back to your path. 

So now, what do you do with this guidance when you’re feeling all the indications of high stress – the panic, the heart racing, the sweat, etc.?

You remember that you can choose your thoughts and it’s not about thinking positive. Nope, that’s not even possible during this time. It’s about awareness and choosing the better-feeling thought. It could be slight. But it’s that small shift that lets you know you’re turning your boat around. 

For example, let’s say your boss just put pressure on you about a project. Let’s say you’ve programmed your mind to automatically go to “I wish I didn’t have to work. I hate this job”. That feels terrible. 

What would be a better-feeling thought? I’ll share options for sake of example but this is a personal question. Only you know what’s a better feeling because your intention might not be the same as mine and your guidance system is taking you towards your highest intention. Only you know what thought would be better to reach for. For example: 

  • I remember I used to love this job 
  • I remember being so happy to get offered this position 
  • Maybe I just don’t like my boss, but my job is ok 
  • I’ve had worse jobs 
  • Honestly, I just hate that he doesn’t ask questions before putting pressure 
  • I wonder if I can fix this? 
  • At least I get paid for this 

You see, this isn’t exactly your most positive list of statements about your job. But it’s the bridge. From here, I usually like to keep going because once I turn my ship around, I can usually start sailing in the opposite better-feeling direction. Before I know it, I remember all the things I love and I connect it to my purpose and I can get to a higher vibrational state, but it does require practice and baby steps. 

Only one better-feeling thought is enough to reduce stress and get you relief. 

You have control over the thoughts you choose. Remember that. It’s an under utilized tool for many. 

My emotions are independent from others 

The next three statements I shared are all about separating your emotions from other people’s emotions: 

  • How someone else feels or reacts has nothing to do with how I need to feel or react 
  • My emotions are independent of others 
  • No one else can choose my thoughts for me 

Separating your emotions from other people’s emotions is hard because we are natural calibrators. What the hell does that mean? 

Okay, have you heard “good vibes” and “bad vibes”? It’s real. Our entire world is made out of vibration and we kind of have a built-in sixth sense about it which we mostly ignore, but that’s another topic. But it’s true, everything is vibration: sound, physical matter, light, colors are all vibrations. Our thoughts and emotions also vibrate at a certain frequency. The latter is more difficult to measure and read with existing human tools, but it’s real nonetheless. 

All physical, manifested things actually stem from thought and emotion. It must. Someone has to think and contemplate the existence of every single thing around us for it to then be co-created with others who make it into a car, house, lamp, shoe, etc. The idea of transportation, shopping centers, the internet were all ideas first before they became an impulse for action and eventually a real thing we can see, use, etc. 

I digress. So the world in its essence is vibration. How we feel is the indicator of the vibration we are emitting. Another small digression, but worth mentioning: This vibration is also a signal that radiates out and is the basis of the law of attraction which states “that which is like unto itself is drawn” (like attracts like). So you will attract things, people, events that vibrate at that signal. 

In summary, everything in essence is vibration – this seen and unseen, all of our senses are a translation of vibration into sound, color, etc.  

Now, if there are these invisible vibrations and I’m vibrating and you are vibrating…there’s sort of this harmony that wants to be maintained. So when someone around you becomes enraged or is so sad, somehow you feel inclined to harmonize with that vibration and you match their vibration which results in lowering your emotion. This is also true when someone is laughing or being playful. It’s contagious. 

So when your boss is under stress because of his boss or the upset clients, we’re really talking about a chain of energy that you are now linking up with. It’s very possible that there’s an element of momentum that has occurred by the time the wave of energy reaches you. 

As I mentioned before, we are natural calibrators. It’s sort of more comfortable for everyone when we match or get closer to their energy. A simple example, your colleague says “I’m so stressed. I have so much work to do”. What do we almost always automatically say? “Omg, me too!”. 


What I want you to contemplate so much so that I put three statements that all say the same thing is: You do not need to match energy. 

Your spouse comes home from work upset having a bad day. I DARE you to say, “I feel so good. I feel great”. And then spend the evening playing with your dog, eating ice cream, and making a gratitude list. 

Can you do it? 

Most people associate love and compassion to matching energy. You give up your power when you match lower energy. You can’t help others when you join their pity party. 

Learn and practice separating your energy from others. Sometimes when I feel the residue of energy from a situation or conversation I recite the following: “I return what doesn’t belong to me. I take back what is mine. And I cancel anything that does not serve any of us.” 

I believe in the power of words, but whether it’s truly possible to “return” and “take back”, I don’t know. What I do know is that I feel immediate relief from remembering that I choose my vibration and I intend to vibrate hIgh. I do not have to accept other people’s vibration into my aura. 

As I mentioned, this is not basic stuff. These are principles to master and practice and remember again and again. When I say master, I mean this is what Jesus meant when he said “love your enemies”. It’s a level of stability and self-worth and self-honor that you don’t match other people’s energy. You choose yours whether it’s peace or love regardless of the anxiety, stress and hate in the world. 

Trust me, most of us won’t be able to do this perfectly, but what helps us is to have something else to calibrate to instead of the very tempting circumstances and humans around us. To me, that would be your intention. 

Set intentions and move towards them 

An intention is the highest, purest, grandest version of how you want to feel and be. Whether you’ve done the inner work to be able to verbalize your intention, it’s actually a natural result of life. It’s the preferences you have made vibrationally of how you want to feel and who you want to be. 

It’s your highest version of you. When you were rude to someone and it felt awful, you make a vibrational decision to want to be more kind. When someone talked down to you, you made a vibrational vote to be more confident and powerful.There is this force that you created that calls you to become the fullest version of you. In this space, there’s creativity, ideas, and all the good feelings you desire. 

Life is dynamic and expanding and ever-changing, so you can’t expect yourself to stand steady and still in this high vibe. Not at all. You gotta surf it, but if you don’t know what it looks like or feels like to ride a wave, you’ll never do it. You have to use your guidance system to know what’s going on right now. Allow yourself to be thrown off a lot, but get back on and know that your highest self is calling you unceasingly like a lighthouse, so that no matter what, you can always find you way. 

Stress is optional because it’s a practiced reaction. Once you have practiced neutrality, calmness, or peace, it’s possible for you to be able to reach for it shortly after and perhaps even during a “stressful” situation. As a leader or a good employee, you must. There’s no clarity or creativity under stress. 

But living this way does require you to dance to your own rhythm. You can’t care what other people think. People will think you don’t care about the situation because you’re not panicking. We are saturated in a world that expects you to be stressed and rewards it. 

You must choose your path. Make a decision about how you want to feel and be easy about it. Trust your emotional guidance system and remember you’re not a static being. You are vibration, you are in constant motion, ebbing and flowing. Ride the waves, enjoy it, embrace it, and keep sight of your inner GPS. 

I leave you with the final five truth statements that best summarize everything we discussed:

  • No one else can choose my thoughts for me 
  • Awareness is noticing my thoughts and emotions as if I was a third-party 
  • Intention is knowing how I want to feel and who I want to be 
  • Feeling good is moving towards my intention 
  • Feeling bad is moving away from my intention 

Set an intention, picture it in your mind, feel it in your body. This is how you install new programs in your system. 

You got this. 

Much love, 


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